Puerto Rico Agrees to Sweeping Overhaul of Its Police Agency


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has pledged $10 million to the Puerto Rican government as it finalized a deal to reform the U.S. territory’s police agency, which has long been accused of illegal killings, corruption and civil rights violations, reports the Associated Press. The announcement ended two years of negotiations to transform the department, the second-largest force in the U.S. with more than 17,000 officers.

Puerto Rico, an island of 3.7 million people struggling to emerge from a seven-year recession, has 10 years to implement all the changes. The 100-page agreement calls on the police department to build public confidence, establish new disciplinary procedures and create a use-of-force policy. It also demands additional training for officers before they’re assigned to the streets, and for a supervisor to be present when suspects resist arrest, among numerous other changes.

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